MIAF Day 1 – Focus on Poland 1, SIGGRAPH Highlights

22 Jun

By Michael De Martino

Last night I attended two equally amazing sessions, one focusing on a national cinema (Poland), and one focusing of a particular animation technique (CGI).

Session 1 – Focus on Poland 1

Ten films made up the first of three sessions of the Polish showcase. I was unfamiliar with polish animation before this session, but now I can happily call myself a fan. These films share a dark aesthetic quality though still managed to illustrate a variety of styles ranging from ink, to pencil, to paint, to CGI, to scratch, to stop-motion animation. Only two films contained dialogue (which is most common in animated short films) forcing us to focus on the visuals. These films defy genre; they are simply meant to be enjoyed as the animated national cinema of Poland.

There were several standout films:

Robert Proch’s Galeria (2010) wowed audiences with its calligraphic movement of ink and paint.

Danny Boy (Marek Skrobecki, 2010) is a darkly humorous stop-motion film about a city of headless citizens which made audiences laugh and cringe simultaneously while adding genuine dramatic emotion. A varied mesh of moods executed perfectly.

The session concluded with the astounding CGI film, Paths of Hate (2010), about two pilots set to destroy each other.

My top pick of this session is another film by Proch titled Wirus [Virus] (2009) which can fortunately be seen here.

The next two Polish sessions are tonight at 6:15pm and Saturday night at 9pm.

Session 2 – SIGGRAPH Highlights

Fourteen films made up this collection of CGI wonders. These films illustrate just how far computer graphics have come. Some of these films are indescribably amazing to watch. Perhaps this best describes the feeling:

Here are my top picks from this screening:

Animation History of Poland (Tomasz Baginski, 2009) is exactly what the title suggests, the history of Poland communicated through CGI animation. This was the highlight of the session.

Loom (Ilja Brunck, Jan Bitzer, Csaba Letay, 2010) is an utterly amazing film about a moth being trapped and venomed by a spider. Simple premise, incredible execution.

Mobile (Verena Fels, 2010) was definitely the film the audience had the most fun with. It consists of cute farmyard animals hanging from a mobile. All the lonely cow wants is a friend and damn she’s gonna get one, even if it means throwing the mobile out of control.

White Drawing (2009) by Kurt Adams is an atmospheric post-apocalyptic head trip. You get sucked into the film and cannot get out. Even if it doesn’t make sense it is visually appealing to say the least.

Some of the films from this session will be screened at other sessions, so keep an eye out for them.

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